Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

    Industry: Hospitality, Catering and Tourism

    Summary: A carpet and upholstery cleaner cleans carpets, chairs, sofas and other soft furnishings in offices, shops and private homes.

    Average salary: The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:where you work the size of the company or organisation you work for the demand for the job.Starting pay can range from the National Minimum Wage (which from October 2013 is £3.72 to £6.31 an hour depending on age) to £8.50 an hour. Income often depends on commission.

    The requirements

    • driving licence
    • communication skills
    • numerical skills
    • teamwork
    • able to work alone
    • methodical
    • practical
    • able to follow instructions
    • careful
    • honesty
    • reliable
    • Any
    • General Education

    Read further information about this career



    cleaner; carpet cleaner; upholstery cleaner.

    The work

    You could be:

    • checking what kind of cleaning is needed
    • giving a written estimate of cost
    • using industrial cleaning machines, such as steam heat or hot water cleaners
    • choosing a cleaning fluid and a hose attachment suitable to the type of fabric you are treating
    • filling the tank of the machine with water and adding the cleaning fluid
    • spraying the solution on to the material and vacuuming up the dirt and water
    • using chemical dry-cleaning processes
    • applying special treatments after cleaning, such as stain repellents, flame retardants and anti-static chemicals
    • doing specialist cleaning after flood or fire damage.


    • You travel to each client’s premises.
    • You carry the heavy equipment into the premises and move furniture around.
    • You spend most of the time on your feet and will bend, stretch and kneel.
    • You work regular hours, but might have to work mainly in the evenings or weekends while the buildings are not in use.
    • Part time work is common.
    • You wear protective overalls and perhaps a mask and gloves.
    • Your income may depend on commission and therefore vary widely according to the number of contracts you get.

    Getting in

    • A good general education is useful.
    • You should be fit with no allergies to dust or chemicals.
    • You usually need a driving licence as you have to take the equipment to different premises.
    • Jobs are mainly with private cleaning companies.

    What does it take

    You should be:

    • honest
    • reliable
    • practical
    • aware of health and safety procedures
    • able to follow instructions
    • able to work alone or in a team
    • physically fit and energetic.
    You should have:
    • a careful, methodical approach
    • a basic understanding of cleaning chemicals
    • number skills to work out prices
    • good communication skills and a pleasant manner.


    • Training is usually on the job.
    • The National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA) runs 2-day basic training courses in carpet and upholstery cleaning. They also run courses in spot and stain treatment and removal, leather and hard floor cleaning.
    • Some firms who sell cleaning machines and carpet shampoos run short courses in their use.
    • You could also work towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) Level 2 (SCQF Level 5) Cleaning and Support Services.


    National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA)
    62c London Road Oadby Leicestershire LE2 5DH
    Tel: 0116 271 9550

    Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA)
    478-480 Salisbury House London Wall London EC2M 5QQ
    Tel: 020 7920 9632

    British Institute of Cleaning Science
    9 Premier Court Boarden Close Moulton Park Northampton NN3 6LF
    Tel: 01604 678710

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